When I shut down last night, there was no Appropriations Bill and we were headed towards a gubmint shutdown, and this morning, lo! there is a bill! The antiquated and useless Senate is a complete mystery to me, but that’s not news. Anyway, what happened?
We turn to Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie for details:
THE OMNIBUS THAT ALMOST WASN’T — Congressional appropriators filed a 4,155-page, $1.7 trillion omnibus appropriations bill shortly after 1:30 a.m. this morning following hours of delay. The holdup? A nasty intraparty spat over the future location of the FBI headquarters briefly stalled a bipartisan $1.7 trillion spending deal — one that pitted outgoing House Majority Leader STENY HOYER against Sen. MARK WARNER (D-Va.).
In other words, who gets the pork. And now to the amazing resolution and an unlikely hero: Chuck Schumer!
But an 11th-hour deal brokered by Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER resolved the dispute overnight and kept Congress on track to clear the spending bill before a Friday shutdown deadline. Under the accord, federal officials will be required to conduct “separate and detailed consultations” with relevant lawmakers in order to “further consider perspectives related to mission requirements, sustainable siting and equity.”
In other words, Chuck kicked the can down the road.
Meanwhile, the treachery of the Republicans is unbounded:
Republicans continue to be at each other’s throats about whether Senate Republicans should have negotiated a spending deal at all.
Republicans really, really hate the United States and want a gubmint shutdown because: REASONS!!1!
In the House, Rep. CHIP ROY (R-Texas) and 12 other conservatives signed and circulated a letter late last night vowing to tank any priorities of the GOP senators who backed the omnibus deal. Meanwhile, Sen. MIKE LEE (R-Utah) tweeted a midnight threat to grind the Senate’s gears, saying leaders “should not assume that every senator will agree to facilitate their efforts to ram this through.”
And whenever Republican treachery is mentioned, can amply be-chinned Mitch McConnell be far behind? Some say No!
Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL is defending the agreement as a victory for conservatives. His office blasted out a timeline of all the instances where the Kentucky Republican vowed he would refuse to back an increase in spending for “liberal domestic priorities” despite Democratic demands of parity between defense and nondefense spending. They argue the deal caters to those demands, splitting $858 billion in defense vs. $772 billion in domestic.
The omnibus includes about $45 billion for Ukraine, exceeding President Joe Biden’s request for $37 billion, in addition to nearly $40 billion in disaster aid for storm and wildfire recovery. The bill is also loaded with unrelated policy provisions, including a bipartisan deal to revamp the outdated Electoral Count Act, legislation that would ban TikTok on government phones, an extension of pandemic telehealth flexibility, retirement savings incentives and much more.
…and what is not:
Not included in the bill is billions of dollars in pandemic aid requested by Biden, an extension of the enhanced Child Tax Credit pushed for by Democrats, cannabis banking legislation and a popular tax provision that would have allowed businesses to immediately write off their research expenses, rather than over a period of five years.
So they got in a pissing match over where the put a new HQ for the FBI, but they jettisoned the Child Tax Credit, a bill that actually, demonstrably worked and raised children out of poverty before it ran out.